Underweight Chinese equities as growth has stalled
China came through the early phase of the pandemic with less scars on the economy due to the country’s effective lockdown. The impact on corporate earnings were less than that in the rest of the world (see chart), but the subsequent phase during the reopening has been much more challenging. China is currently facing a real estate crisis, rising unemployment, energy shortages that have recently been worsened by severe droughts, and general slowdown of the economy. In many ways it looks like the Chinese economy will go through some painful years of readjustment away from being heavily dependent on heavy investments in housing and exports.
Earnings in Q2 have been better than expected but Chinese earnings growth since Q3 2019 has lacked behind the rest of the world. A lot of new regulation in the private sector has lowered profit growth and investor flows into China has slowed down as well. Following the war in Ukraine investors have further cut exposure to China and our take is still underweight Chinese equities at this point.